aeolian harp(redirected from aeolian harps)
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(1) A stringed instrument. The aeolian harp is a narrow wooden box, equipped with sound holes, that serves as a resonator; eight to 13 strings of varying thicknesses, all tuned in unison, are stretched inside the box. The instrument was positioned on the roof of a house, where wind caused the strings to vibrate and produce various harmonics over the same fundamental. The sound ranged, depending on the force of the wind, from a low, gentle tone to a quite loud one. The aeolian harp has been known since the tenth century.
(2) In Russia, the name of an instrument with vibrating metal reeds and a round, flared opening, or bell; a type of accordion. First made in St. Petersburg in the early 19th century, the instrument was later produced in other cities of Russia as well.